design, fashion, handmade, illustration, vintage

Thrifty Finds


It’s been a long time since I posted about my thrifty finds. I now tend to take a quick snap of something and upload it onto Instagram which has become a less time consuming type of blogging to me. I thought the other day though, that it would be nice to do a little post about some recent charity shop and Ebay finds. So here we are…

The spotted cotton shirt I found in my local St Giles Hospice shop for £3. It seems to have been hand sewn from scratch as there are no labels. I just love the bow at the front. Will come in handy as a nursing shirt too! The oversized vintage M&S blouse was from also from St Giles, and should make a nice light maternity blouse for the Summer and beach cover-up post-pregnancy. It was £5 and isn’t the type of pattern I usually go for, but I was drawn to it for some reason – probably the symmetrical nature of the pattern! Finally, my £2.50 Ebay find – a Gordon Stowell illustrated children’s book filled with inspiring bright images and simple wording. I can’t wait to show and read this to the little one in the future!

Book Review, fashion, illustration, vintage

Book Review: 1940s Fashion

1940sFashionCarlton Books have kindly sent me the latest of their hard-backed definitive fashion source books for me to review. I was delighted to see this one featured the 1940s – possibly my favourite fashion era for the effortless ease of style every woman seemed to be able to wear then. Full of beautiful original illustrations and photography, the books spans the whole of the 40s era, including the time of Make Do and Mend war austerity and stunning Hollywood glamour. The book also contains biographies of top influential designers like Dior, Balmain and Nina Ricci who shaped the world of fashion at that time.

It’s so interesting to see how so much of the innovative 40s fashion styles and ways to wear accessories has come flying back into current fashion trends. From head scarves, scalloped edged fabrics to high waisted belts and rounded collars, the love for all things vintage seems to have consumed the high street and no one is ever far from a vintage clothes fair event going on at a weekend. I personally like to look in the charity shops to find originals at a bargain price while donating to the charity – it’s a win/win situation! There are some great finds to come across at fairs too, and if you have a keen eye, can check the garment for any imperfections and don’t mind bartering a little, you can leave with some special additions to your wardrobe. Get inspired before you next hit a vintage fair or charity shop by taking an effortlessly easy look through this lovely book.

£30, Goodman Fiell,

fashion, handmade

Bless The Weather

blesstheweathercowlToday arrived some post I had be excitedly anticipating from knitter Siobhan Watts, aka Bless The Weather. A few weeks ago I won one of her beautiful cosy hand-knitted cowls in my colour of the moment, mustard yellow! I love big knits and I have a friend who always comments when I wear a “chunky knit” so I’m sure she’ll be quick to notice this new addition to my collection! Siobhan knits a range of different scarves, cowls and head bands and can be ordered in a range of colours. She has a sample sale over on her Etsy shop at the moment so go and check it out!

Book Review, design, fashion, illustration, vintage

Book Review – 1930s Fashion: The Definitive Sourcebook

1930sFashionI have been sent a wonderful book on 1930s fashion to review published by Goodman Fiell – 1930s Fashion: The Definitive Sourcebook contains 600 completely original, never-seen-before photographs and fashion illustrations. It’s a truely stunning 1930s sourcebook which picks up on the current trend for vintage fashion and offers an in-depth look at the significance of 1930s fashion, not only on the industry, but on society itself.

A detailed and interesting guide to Thirties fashion, this is an essential handbook for vintage collectors and anyone interested in fashion or cultural history. With its silk tea-dresses, tailored suits and draped furs, Fashion Sourcebook – 1930s reveals the incredible elegance of this era’s fashions. The feminine yet practical silhouettes, figure-hugging eveningwear, and the dawn of high-quality off-the-peg garments that characterize 1930s fashion are all included in this sourcebook of inspiration.

Vintage clothing has become immensely popular and this book shows the glamour and sophistication of the 1930s. It also documents the season-by-season fashions of this decade with a vast selection of over 600 original photographs, sketches and prints. I particularly loved the images of the boldly designed graphic advertisements and softly lit Hollywood styled black and white photographs. The beautifully cut, elegant and sophisticated evening gowns would make any woman fall in love with fashion in feminine figure hugging styles in new fabrics, colours and shapes.

The editors are Charlotte Fiell – a leading design historian who has written numerous bestselling books on all aspects of design, from industrial products to graphic communications. She studied at the British Institute in Florence and at Camberwell College of Arts, London, where she received a BA (Hons) in the History of Drawing and Printmaking with Material Science. She later trained at Sotheby’s Institute, also in London.
Also, Emmanuelle Dirix is a highly regarded fashion historian, who has an MA in Design History from the University of Brighton. She works as a freelance curator specializing in fashion history and theory, and also lectures at various universities including London College of Fashion, Central Saint Martins, The Royal College of Art and the Antwerp Fashion Academy. She has also contributed to various exhibitions.


All images taken from 1930s Fashion: The Definitive Sourcebook, published in hardback by Goodman Fiell, 22nd November 2012, £30.00

design, fashion, interiors, vintage

The First Vintage Fair of Autumn

PelsallVintageFairLast weekend, as Autumn officially began, I went along to the first event of a new local vintage fair. The retro-feel community hall was packed with tables selling vintage clothes, accessories and homewares, cakes and popcorn. Entertainment throughout the day featured a rock and roll band, glamorous burlesque dancing, and a vintage pin-up makeover stall and photographer. I bought some buttons to add to my collection, a pretty floral etched glass plate for £1 and my best buy was a vintage 100% welsh wool cape jacket in a amazing mustard colour for £26. I’ll be making sure I don’t miss the next one especially after chatting to the woman I bought the cape from – she apparently has a garage full of brilliant 70’s patterned and mid century homewares!

fashion, handmade, interiors, vintage

Bijou at No.15

BIJOUOn Saturday, I found myself at the opening day of new vintage inspired boutique shop Bijou at No.15 after going in to Lichfield for the weekend’s Food Festival. The shop was busy, full of new customers eating candy floss, and friends and family of the fashion designer owner, Gemma Ramage, to wish her all the best in her new venture. Gemma makes her own dress collection at the back of the shop using stunning fabrics and ribbon detailing with asymmetrical shapes. Vintage inspired accessories, leather suitcases, taxidermy, vintage bottles, and shabby chic furniture stylishly placed, brought the whole style of the shop together. I spotted belted thick pleated skirts, lace dresses, and swallow patterned floaty shirts I loved, and couldn’t leave without trying on one particularly cute dress which I then promptly purchased and wore that same afternoon for a wedding!